Our Annual Advent Newsletter 2021

Since before the Flood (or at least before the Pandemic), the Cathedral Bookstore has published an annual Advent Newsletter. While it has traditionally been found in your service leaflets in the past, we discovered last year that publishing it online is more than a silver lining in a dark cloud, it is a bright new day for sharing our selections with friends far and wide.

Please take a minute to look through our list, and perhaps add some of them to your list. All are available in the bookstore, where we are happy to wrap them in pretty paper and satin bows. Come by during the week, make your selections, and we’ll wrap while you grab a tasty lunch at Treebeards. Or join us on Sundays, and we’ll wrap while you sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and gaze at the beautiful stained glass windows. We are delighted by these titles, and we hope you will be, too!

Wishing you a peaceful Advent season!


That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.

~F. Scott Fitzgerald

Books for Adults:

Atomic Love
Jennie Fields
Set in Chicago in 1950, this is a novel of science, love, and espionage. Five years after the Manhattan Project, physicist Rosalind Porter finds herself heartbroken and filled with guilt over the bomb. She desperately misses her work in the lab, but she’s almost resigned herself to a conventional life. When her old love reconnects with her, so does the FBI, who suspect him of passing nuclear secrets to Russia. She knows the devastating power of this knowledge, but she is unsure if she can spy on the man she loves. When she becomes drawn to the FBI agent, she finds herself in both physical and emotional danger. 

Borges and Me 
Jay Parini
In what the author calls a novelistic memoir, he takes readers back fifty years, when he fled the United States for Scotland to avoiding the Vietnam War. Through unlikely circumstances, he meets the famed Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges who is in his seventies, blind and frail. Borges shares his long-held wish to find a man in Inverness who is interested in Anglo-Saxon riddles. As they travel, stopping at various sites of historical interest, Borges takes Parini on a grand tour of Western literature and ideas, while promising to teach him about love and poetry. Borges’s world of labyrinths, mirrors, and doubles shimmers into being, and their journey becomes a magical mystery tour.

Around the World in 80 Books 
David Damrosch
Inspired by Jules Verne’s hero Phileas Fogg, David Damrosch, founder of the Institute for World Literature, set out to counter the pandemic’s restrictions on travel by exploring eighty exceptional books from around the globe. Following a literary itinerary from London to Venice, Tehran and points beyond, he explores how these works have shaped our idea of the world. He includes contemporary works as well as classics, crime fiction, fantasy, and formative children’s literature. Taken together, these eighty titles offer us fresh perspective on enduring problems and an invitation to look beyond ourselves and see our world in new ways.

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village
Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper
A weekend roaming narrow old lanes, touring the faded glories of a country manor, and quaffing pints in the pub sounds charming, but danger lurks around each picturesque cobblestone corner and every sip of tea may be your last. Brought to life with Gorey-esque drawings and peppered with allusions to classic crime series and British lore, this illustrated guide gives you the tools you need to avoid the same fate, should you find yourself in a suspiciously cozy English village.

Diary of a Young Naturalist
Dara McAnulty
This lyrical, startling debut, winner of multiple UK book awards, explores the natural world through the eyes of Dara McAnulty, an autistic teenager coping with the uprooting of home, school, and his mental health, while pursuing his life as a conservationist and environmental activist. Recalling his sensory encounters in the wild – with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, Irish hares and more – McAnulty reveals worlds we have neglected to see. It is a story of the binding love of family and home, and how we can help each other through the most difficult of times.

The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany 
Graeme Gibson and Margaret Atwood
Featuring a new foreword by Margaret Atwood
Novelist and avid birdwatcher Graeme Gibson offers an extraordinary tribute to the venerable relationship between humans and birds. From the Aztec plumed serpent to the Christian dove to Plato’s vision of the human soul growing wings, religion and philosophy use birds to represent our aspirational selves. Winged creatures appear in mythology and folk tales, and in literature by writers as diverse as Ovid, Thoreau, and T. S. Eliot. They’ve been omens, allegories, and guides; they’ve been worshipped, eaten, and feared. Gibson spent years collecting this gorgeously illustrated celebration of centuries of human response to the delights of the feathered tribes. 

People Who Love to Eat Are Always the Best People: And Other Wisdom 
Julia Child
This nicely bound collection of Child’s best quotes, including some of her best lines about eating and food is a compact, meaningful gift for the cooks in your life.  Brimming with words of wisdom, life lessons and, of course, food — it’s a delightful treat.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Universe 
Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson
As a species, we may not agree on much, but one thing brings us all together: a need to know. We all wonder, and deep down we all have the same big questions. Why can’t I travel back in time? Where did the universe come from? What’s inside a black hole? Can I rearrange the particles in my cat and turn it into a dog? Researcher-turned-cartoonist Jorge Cham and physics professor Daniel Whiteson are experts at explaining science in ways we can all understand, Here are short, accessible, and lighthearted answers to some of the most common, most outrageous, and most profound questions about the universe in an essential troubleshooting guide for the perplexing aspects of reality, big and small.  If the universe came with an FAQ, this would be it.

All of the Marvels: A Journey to the Ends of the Biggest Story Ever Told
Daniel Wolk
Here is the first-ever full reckoning with Marvel Comics’ interconnected, half-million-page story, a revelatory guide to the “epic of epics”—and to the past sixty years of American culture—from an authority on the subject who read all 27,000+ Marvel superhero comics and then made sense of it. Wolk presents the Marvel universe as a prism through which to view American culture the past sixty years, from the terrors of the Cold War to the technocracy and political division of the present day—an epic about power and ethics, set in a world transformed by wonders.

Books for Young People:

WingFeather Saga Boxed Set 
Andrew Petersen
This collection of Andrew Peterson’s beloved Wingfeather Saga includes all four novels in hardcover: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, North! Or Be Eaten, The Monster in the Hollows, and The Warden and the Wolf King. This sweeping saga is full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage. Children of all ages will cherish it, families can read it aloud, and readers’ groups can discuss its many layers of meaning. Each book features illustrations by Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art. Age: 8-12

The Beatryce Prophecy 
Kate DiCamillo
Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall join forces to present a story with timeless themes, an unforgettable cast, and a magical medieval setting—a meditation on fate, love, and the power of words. A girl with a head full of stories—powerful tales-within-the-tale of queens and kings, mermaids and wolves—ventures into a dark wood in search of the castle of one who wishes her dead. But Beatryce knows that, should she lose her way, those who love her—a wild-eyed monk, a man who had once been king, a boy with a terrible sword, and a goat with a head as hard as stone—will never give up searching for her.  Age: 8-12

I Don’t Want to Read This Book 
Max Greenfield and Mike Lowery
Words, sentences, and even worse, paragraphs fill up books. So what’s a reluctant reader to do? For every child (and parent) who thinks they don’t want to read a book, as well as those who love reading, this playful read-aloud is a book to be shared again and again.  Age: 4-8

Words to Make a Friend: A Story in Japanese and English
Donna Jo Napoli and Naoko Stoop
When a young Japanese girl moves into her new house, she is happy to see a girl her age playing in the snow just outside her window. But she doesn’t speak English and her new neighbor doesn’t speak Japanese. How will they have any fun? What starts with a simple “hello” and “konnichiwa” becomes a day filled with fun in the snow. This innovative bilingual English/Japanese picture book proves you don’t need to speak the same language to understand each other. Age: 4-8

My Heart 
Corinna Luyken
Here is a simple and gorgeous picture book about caring for your own heart and living with kindness and empathy. My heart is a window. My heart is a slide. My heart can be closed…or opened up wide. Some days your heart is a puddle or a fence to keep the world out. But some days it is wide open to the love that surrounds you. My Heart is an ode to love and listening to your heart. Age: 3-8

Jan Brett’s Nutcracker 
Jan Brett
Jan Brett makes this classic her own by setting it in snowy Russia and adding whimsical touches to the favorite elements of the traditional ballet. Families who love the ballet and those new to the story will both find it a wonderful addition to Christmas traditions. And Jan Brett fans will need to add it to their collection. Age: 4 – 8

Andersen’s Fairy Tales 
Anthea Bell, ed. Illustrations by Lisbeth Zwerger
Introduce the next generation to the beloved fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen in this beautifully illustrated little volume. This handsome and easy-to-read mini edition features eight tales from beloved storyteller Hans Christian Andersen and pairs old favorites, including “Thumbelina” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” with lesser-known tales, such as “The Sandman” and “The Jumper.” Age: 5-7

From the Cathedral

In the Midst of the City: The Gospel and God’s Politics
Barkley S. Thompson
Foreword by the Honorable Linnet Deily
Dean Thompson makes an elegant, profound connection between religion and politics. He argues that Christian faith and politics are inseparable, and though the Gospel is inherently political, it is not partisan. To embody God’s politics, we must first steep ourselves in God’s vision for the world embodied in the Gospels, and only then can we act politically. This collection of essays and sermons addresses hot-button social issues by putting this principle into practice, challenging the reader to live God’s politics and to be the vanguard of God’s kingdom in the world.

Belovedness: Finding God (and Self) on Campus
edited by Becky Zartman and James Franklin

Thought-provoking essays by Canon Zartman and college chaplains from several denominations address issues of faith, identity, making choices, success and failure, relationships, sexuality, partying, and mental health, through the concept of belovedness. Belovedness gives students a framework for living their lives set free by the love of God and teaches them how to find the strengthening love that individuals in community can provide for one another—even, and especially, in college.

Cathedral Aprons
Whether you’re serving on the Altar Guild or at your own table at home, a beautiful blue apron emblazoned with the Cathedral logo will make every moment holy, as well as a little tidier and a little easier. 

The Resurrection Angel Stained Glass

This replica of the angel in the Resurrection window over the altar was created by artisans in a traditional enamel glazing process. The piece comes packaged with a copy of Dean Thompson’s sermon “Clipped Wings,” a contemplation of this angel.  The package includes a chain for display.

Wooden Christmas Trees 
Dieter Ufer

Each year, Dieter Ufer has created exquisite wooden Christmas Trees for sale in the Bookstore. A Cathedral parishioner since1960, he has provided such extraordinary service to the Cathedral that he received the Dean’s Cross in 2016. His father, a talented metalsmith, crafted the cover of the baptismal font and many other pieces integral to the worship experience at the Cathedral, but Dieter has always been drawn to working with wood. His heirloom-quality trees, available in three sizes — tiny, small, and tall — consist of two interlocking pieces designed to be easily packed away for many Christmases to come. Now, since Dieter has moved to Dallas, this is the last batch of his beautiful trees that we will be able to offer. 

Gifts and Seasonal Surprises

In addition, we have a variety of gift books, including the Big Book of Christmas Mysteries and Christmas Poems. You’ll find Christmas cards, calendars, gifts for book lovers, colorful Kei & Molly tea towels, beautiful J. Peace jewelry, clever Common Prayer upcycled and embroidered scripture scrunchies, and other seasonal surprises. If you’re looking for something contemplative, we have beautiful editions of the Book of Common Prayer and The Prayer Book/Hymnal combination, Anglican prayer beads, and great books that every Episcopalian should have on hand. We’re here to help you find something meaningful for everyone on your list and wrap it up with a bow so you can have a peaceful Advent and a very merry Christmas!

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
~Jorge Luis Borges

The Cathedral Bookstore is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sundays 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.The Bookstore will close for Christmas on Thursday, December 23 at 2 p.m. and reopen on Sunday, January 2, 2021.

For more information, contact Lucy Chambers, Bookstore Manager: 

713-222-0286 or bookstore@christchurchcathedral.org.

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